Mai Tai

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Invented (arguably) by Trader Vic in his Oakland, CA restaurant in 1944, the Mai Tai gets its name from from a friend of Vic's, who tasted his first ever concoction and remarked that the drink was "mai tai," a Tahitian colloquialism that roughly translates to "awesome." We can't argue there. 

You might hear Mai Tai and think of some drink you had at a Chinese restaurant somewhere that was extremely sweet and bright red, garnished with pineapple and cherries, but in actuality that drink couldn't have been further from the real thing. Sometime in the illustrious 70's the Mai Tai went off the rails in American restaurants, becoming bastardized into some sort of rum punch made with shitty, cheap liquor and finished with whatever sweet juice and grenadine was available. Of course they were popular! Your mom and her friends (and everyone else) loved sweet, fruity drinks of an unnaturally red hue! 

We want to put those days behind us and drink the real thing; which is a refreshing, boozy concoction straight from the beach.

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker
Crushed ice

Ingredients:

2 oz Afrohead XO Aged Dark Rum   (Appleton Estate is traditionally used)
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz orgeat syrup
.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao 
fresh mint
Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Method:

Fill cocktail shaker and with crushed ice. In shaker combine rum, lime juice, orgeat, and curaçao. Shake vigorously and strain over crushed ice in a tall glass. Garnish with mint and cherry.

Scorpion Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Now this is our idea of a drink! We've all had the ubiquitous Long Island Iced Tea before, (Just admit it. Its ok you were young...) and we have the Scorpion Bowl to thank. While most Tiki drinks were actually invented by a handful of guys in the United States, the Bowl is based on the idea of "communal drinks," which was a part of South Sea drinking custom. The Polynesians knew there was nothing quite like sharing a giant bowl of booze with their friends!

For this drink, you will need the vessel known as a scorpion bowl or tiki bowl. These are available in a range of options and prices. Other than buying online, you will probably have to keep your eyes peeled at flea markets or antique stores to find one. If you do find one grab it! They aren't all that common in the wild, but otherwise easy to buy with your trusty computer. Traditionally decorated with demons to guard your drink, they can also be found covered with palm trees, hula girls, and other South Pacific imagery. Another feature might be a volcano in the center of the bowl. Trust us, get the one with the volcano if you can, the added theatrics are well worth it. 

The easy association to make is between tiki drinks and rum, but actually a wide range of spirits are used to create these libations. Remember these cocktails were invented by Americans who had access to all sorts of ingredients. That is why you will find things like gin, cognac, sherry, and curaçao included. Our Scorpion Bowl recipe is actually quite easy to make, so invite a few friends and lets get started.

Equipment:

Scorpion Bowl

Ingredients:

3oz london dry gin
3 oz light rum
3 oz brandy
3 oz fresh orange juice
1.5 oz orgeat syrup
1.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1.5 oz amontillado sherry

for the volcano:
2 oz 151-proof rum
ground cinnamon

Method:

Fill Scorpion Bowl with ice. Add gin, rum, brandy, orange juice, orgeat, lemon juice, and sherry to bowl and stir to combine. Fill volcano with 151 rum and carefully set on fire before serving. Toss pinches of cinnamon into fire to create a crackling, fireworks effect.

Serves 2-4 people

La Playa Royale

Yes, we will admit it. Most Tiki Drinks are made with rum, lots of it in fact. But search through the history of tropical drinks and you'll find ones made with gin, cognac and more. 

When it came time to bring together great brands for our Tikitober event at Track One, we knew we wanted to get some great rums, but we also knew that this event was an excuse to also bring some kick-ass tequila to the table.

Maestro Dobel tequila is one of those kick-ass tequilas that our attending members and guests will have an opportunity to enjoy.

For the sake of making a Tiki Drink with it, we used the same principles of fresh fruit and layers of spice and flavor to make La Playa Royale. The most notable addition is the Cinnamon Syrup. Adapted from a recipe from Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean, this syrup was a common ingredient at the famous Don the Beacomber, labeled simply as "Don's Spices #4" in his original recipe books to keep competitors from copying his recipes. 

Making your own Cinnamon Syrup is easy. We posted a recipe for it here.

Okay, let's make this drink.

 

A tequila-based #tikidrink from 3st of the Month

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
rocks glass
crushed ice

ingredients:

2 oz Maestro Dobel Diamond Tequila
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz cinnamon syrup
.25 oz orgeat syrup
strip of orange zest and cinnamon stick for garnish


method:

combine tequila, juices and syrups in an ice-filled shaker and shake like your life depended on it. Or at least like your drink depends on it. Curl the strip of orange zest around the inside of your glass and fill with crushed ice to hold it in place. Strain cocktail into glass and add a cinnamon stick on top.

Mai Tea Cocktail

You know how we Southerners are. . . we put Duke's Mayo on everything, love some good fried food and just have to drink our sweet tea. With Tikitober just around the corner, we're embracing all kinds of Tiki drinks, but thought it might be fun to give this one a Southern spin.

The classic Mai Tai has a history that dates back to the 30's or 40's. Depending on who you ask, some say it was invented at Trader Vic's in the mid 40's, others claim that Don the Beachcomber was making a more complex version in the early 30's. Regardless of who made it, it's a classic Tiki staple made with rum (typically a blend of rums), fresh citrus juice and unique spice flavors coming from Falernum (see our previous post about it here), Orgeat syrup (see more about this here) and orange curaçao. 

We took that classic version and added a little Southern accent with some sweet tea moonshine from American Born. Oh yes we did.

Oh, and one more thing. Be careful with this one. It's almost entirely booze.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
highball glass
crushed ice

ingredients:

1 oz black rum
1 oz spiced rum
1 oz white rum
.5 oz Velvet Falernum
.5 oz orgeat syrup
.5 oz orange curaçao 
.5 oz American Born Sweet Tea Moonshine
.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
pineapple and cherry for garnish


method:

Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill and strain into your glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish, kick back and enjoy...y'all.

Hibiscus Breeze Tiki Drink

As we've discussed before, a good Tiki drink is made from layers of flavors. These can come from a combination of rums, fresh fruit juices and flavored syrups. As is the case with this Hibiscus Breeze cocktail.

We've recently made a delicious hibiscus syrup (get the recipe here) and used it as the jumping off point for this tasty tiki drink. When coupled with perhaps the most well-known tiki syrup, Orgeat, the flavors combine to make a dangerously-delicious gulp-able cocktail. Orgeat is an almond-flavored syrup and can be purchased online or in specialty food stores. Besides being amazing in cocktails, it's phenomenal in iced coffee, poured over fresh fruit and drizzled on ice cream. Shit, just eat it by the spoonful if you want.

The spice in this comes from Sugar Island Rum Co. Spiced Rum. Our 3st of the Month members recently had a chance to sample it at our August event in the form of a Spiced Rum Old Fashioned and it was a hit to say the least. But, as with many good tiki drinks, we've added a couple other rums to round out the flavors - black rum and light rum. 

So whip this one up, sit back and pretend you're on a beach somewhere. We know we did.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
highball or tiki glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Sugar Island Rum Co. Spiced Rum
.75 oz light rum
.75 oz black rum
.75 oz hibiscus syrup
.75 oz orgeat syrup
1 oz fresh-squeeze lime juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
lime and orange wedges for garnish


method:

Fill your glass with ice and water to chill while making cocktail. In a shaker full of ice, add all three rums, both syrups and lime and orange juice. Shake for 20 seconds or so to chill. Empty ice from glass, fill with crushed/chipped ice and strain cocktail from shaker into glass. Garnish and serve.